• South African ministers phone bill to be capped at R60,000

    Date:9 December 2019 Author: Leila Stein

    The Department of Services and Administration (DPSA) released the new ministerial handbook for members of the executive, with major cuts to government benefits.

    According to BusinessTech, the DPSA said this was a move towards “fiscal prudence.”

    Among the cuts included a limit on the rental of cellphones and cost of official calls. Government ministers can now only spend up to R60,000 per annum.

    During a media briefing, DPSA minister Senzo Mchunu said these restrictions will also be extended to other public service positions like mayors and managers.

    “We are in a period that requires us to make difficult and complex decisions above our own national interest,” he said. Government is operating in an ever more complex and demanding environment, more so with regards to the fiscus.

    In his medium-term budget speech, Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni noted that the average government wage has increased by 66% over the last ten years. He acknowledged the need to reduce Board and Executive Management compensation and benefits, with possible wage freezes for government officials in the future.

    “Our approach to addressing the national budget and deficit has to be collective in nature, whilst adopting a holistic approach that yields substantial and coherent gains that are sustainable over time,” said Mchunu.

    Image: Unsplash

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